Before the war I honestly thought Iraq had WMD, but eventually I had to face facts. My hunch that if Saddam had nothing to hide he’d have been more forthcoming was wrong. My hunch that Bush wasn’t so blindingly stupid as to bluff both the UN and Congress without solid evidence was also wrong. I’ve also got some nasty suspicions about why Santa Clause always looked like Dad when I snuck down Christmas Eve to spy.
Anyway, it looks like lots of Americans are still in denial. The Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland and Knowledge Networks have just released their latest report on American beliefs about pre-war Iraq — the results haven’t changed much since they first started running their surveys before the war started. (PIPA’s press release and questionnaire are also available, as is my summary of their October report.)
The quick summary:
- 57% still think that before the war Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, including 20% who believe that Iraq was directly involved in the September 11 attacks.
- 45% believe that evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda has been found.
- 60% believe that just before the war Iraq either had weapons of mass destruction (38%) or a major program for developing them (22%).
Where are these people getting these ideas? Oh wait, here it is:
- 56% percent said it was their impression that the Bush administration is claiming the US has found clear evidence that Saddam Hussein was working closely with al Qaeda, and 38% perceived the administration saying the US has found clear evidence that just before the war, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
It’s good to see they got at least one question right.